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I'm a newly established franchisor who has just begun working with my first franchisees and have already discovered some pitfalls and traps in seeking help to build a reputable franchise system. Here's what I've learned about quality franchising along the way. I thought that you might enjoy hearing about one franchisor's pursuit of quality.
First, I built what I believed to be a sound model around a business that I love, and thought through each step because my goal was to franchise from the beginning. I was meticulous in executing my plan.
Second came the franchise step, and that's where I had to put myself in someone else's hands. I was surprised by a common strategy among franchise consultants that amounted to a boiler-plate, cookie-cutter approach...get an FDD written, write some Ops manuals, pay a hefty fee...then pay a bunch more money to advertise online, and then pay yet another person 40% of your franchise fees to filter through those leads and walk your recruits through the recruiting process. Even more surprising was that despite the way that many consultants sold their services, consultation usually ends at the completion of the legal documents, with very little time and effort put forth into growing and managing the franchise system.
At first, as a naïve, willing to learn franchisor, I trusted it all, only to learn later that my suspicions were right. After spending for consulting services I was still trying to figure out the fundamentals of ‘being a franchisor' as opposed to being prepared to develop my network.
Although my core business was solid, franchising fundamentals remained a mystery. A trusted attorney referred me to a mentor who listened, seemed to understand, and agreed to work with me even though development funds were now low. I began the process ‘again' with energy because finally the process was a comfortable one; one dealing with people and education, and that is how I envisioned the process in the first place.
I was fortunate to find a mentor; a true franchise consultant who really cared about who I was, what I was trying to do, and what I needed to accomplish it. I openly thank Nick Bibby. Without a sales pitch or false promises he just kicked out the old and "taught' me the art of franchising.
My goal was and is to grow a strong, "people focused" franchise for those interested in my type of work, and we have that now.
This isn't an effort to gain cheap notice, it's just my statement on this site, a site that seems to wrestle with ugly franchise problems, that there are people out there who are interested in building and offering ‘quality' in franchising.
Founder, The Barker Lounge